In May, the CRDOA published the report on the proofing of deposits in the Puy-de-Dôme department and the results of the proofs for the Hauts-de-France region.

Harvesting deposits: what exactly is it?

A deposit is the provision by a public institution to another public institution of a work over a relatively long period (at least five years). The deposit policy, which included works of art, furniture and tableware, dates back to the Chaptal decree of 1801 and intensified under the Second Empire.

The texts provide that institutions known as “depositors” verify on the spot, generally every ten years, the presence and state of conservation of these works. It’s “proofing”; it accounts for disappearances and possible restoration needs.

When the disappearance of a work of art is established and its identification is made possible by sufficient documentation, the applicant institution shall request the institution which received it on filing a complaint. The complaint has the effect of registering the record of the missing work on the basis of the police services (Central Office for Combating Trafficking in Cultural Property).

Art deposits in the Puy-de-Dôme department

Deposits have been granted to the department’s museums by major national museums (Louvre Museum, Musée d'Orsay, National Museum of Modern Art, etc.) but also by the National Centre for Plastic Arts (CNAP), the Manufacture de Sèvres, the National Furniture and the Army Museum. The Mandet Museum in Riom is thus the depository of 139 properties from various museums in France, 87 works of the CNAP, 13 assets of the Army Museum and 4 porcelains of the Manufacture de Sèvres. Deposits may also be granted to governments or public authorities (prefectures, town halls, etc.). The town hall of Clermont-Ferrand benefits from 29 CNAP depots and 3 properties deposited by the Mobilier national. While 1,376 works of art have been collected at least once in the department, 93 have never been.

Of the 1,376 properties harvested in the department, 274 could not be located despite the research, a rate of disappearance of about 19.9%, a rate slightly higher than that of the average of the departments studied by the CRDOA (16.43%). Following the proofing operations, 21 works were recovered by the custodians and 37 complaints were filed. Of these, one complaint concerns the Pelee and Andromachus by the neoclassical painter Jean-Pierre Granger (1779-1840), disappeared from the Roger Quilliot art museum of Clermont-Ferrand, and another painted panel from the 15th century, sought at the castle of Villeneuve-Lembron. 7 complaints requested by the Cnap have yet to be filed. All concern copies of paintings of the imperial family, deposited in number in the town halls in the nineteenth century.

The Puy-de-Dôme in figures:
1376 goods collected, 93 goods never yet collected
274 properties not located,
19.9% of the goods harvested
21 goods found after proofs
37 complaints filed, 7 not yet filed

Download the Puy-de-Dôme report:

Art deposits in the Hauts-de-France region

Started more than twenty years ago, the proofing of deposits in the departments of the Hauts-de-France region is not complete, since only 9350 deposits in the region have been harvested out of the 17157 identified, or 54.50%. Indeed, the Manufacture de Sèvres has collected only 8 objects out of the more than 7,000 deposited, the Mobilier national has not collected its 300 deposits at the Musée de Compiègne, nor the Cnap those it granted to the FRAC d'Amiens.

This balance also highlights the high rate of loss of assets deposited in the region (30.12%), with 2,885 assets not located. This rate is largely explained by the damage suffered by the region of Hauts-de-France during the two world wars, and the destruction of many properties deposited in the nineteenth century especially in the town halls and churches of small communes devastated by the fighting.

A total of 59 complaints were filed. 50 others, requested by the depositors, must still be deposited with the police services or gendarmerie by the various depositories.

Download the Hauts-de-France report: